NIC in the News: Port Alberni announces building deconstruction and salvage program at Somass Lands

Partner Announcement: The City of Port Alberni, Synergy Enterprises, and North Island College (NIC) are launching a new program aimed at teaching students about waste reduction in construction and circular economy principles, while providing practical work experience on the Somass Lands redevelopment project.

Funding for the program is provided by the Province of BC through the Community Workforce Response Grant.

The Somass Lands, a key 43-acre waterfront property previously a sawmill site, will provide a hands-on learning environment for a portion of their program, where students will be able to hone their skills in building deconstruction and salvage as part of the site's redevelopment.

“In a very real sense this site is our future and it is totally fitting that NIC students will be given a chance to take part in this vital project,” said Mayor Sharie Minions.

“Students in this new program will develop the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the building deconstruction and salvage industry,” said Evan Borovica, Project Manager from the City of Port Alberni.

“We are excited to launch this new program as it focuses on the development of the principles of the circular economy, which aims to eliminate waste and promote the continual use of resources,” explained Bob Haugen, Director, NIC Continuing Education and Training. “The program will help the City of Port Alberni more effectively manage its resources as the buildings are deconstructed, while also providing new training for students. It’s a win-win.”

The program is fully funded for eligible participants. The students in the program can also gain access to additional financial support such as transportation and daycare costs, which can greatly reduce barriers to training and future employment. The program starts August 28 and will have space for 12 students.

Students interested in the Building Salvage and Deconstruction program at NIC can learn more online at or by contacting Leanne Moore, Regional Continuing Education & Training Officer, NIC Continuing Education & Training at

To stay updated on the project, visit